Every January I sit down with my dad, Mike and we look through a huge stack of seed catalogs to decide how many seeds to plant and what varieties to plant. Each seed variety yields a different pumpkin, squash or gourd and we use past experiences, crop successes (and failures), market trends and personal preference to decide what to order and plant. We always like to try new seeds, but have a few favorites that are our go-to every year.
It takes us 2 days in early June to get all the seeds planted. This year we planted 36 different varieties of pumpkins, winter squash and gourds in three separate fields- including the pick-your-own patch, a patch on the back side of the farm inside our deer management fence and another field about 10 miles north. We rotate our crops every year, so the pumpkins get moved to a different location on the farm each year. The pumpkins grown in the second 2 fields will be picked and available in the Farm Market and to fill large orders.
This year, spring was extremely dry and so we found ourselves waiting for rain to plant the pumpkins. Mike and I planted late into the evening- late meaning it was completely dark and we could only see by the lights on the tractor. We got the all in the ground that evening and the next day it started raining and hasn’t stopped. It has been one of the wettest summers we can remember, which has helped the pumpkins grow tremendous vines! We love vines because vines get lots of flowers that will bear fruit this fall in the form of gorgeous pumpkins!